This is something I think has the potential to make an incredible difference to you and your coaching business. It’s not lead generation. It’s lead conversion.
It’s a specific strategy we’ll apply to your marketing that will dramatically increase the results you get while dramatically decreasing the amount of effort you need to put in.
I call it “Setting The Buying Criteria.”
Let me walk you through the problem this fixes.
Objections, Excuses, & Stalls
If you’re the kind of coach that sells one-on-one, then I’m sure (at one point or another) you’ve come up against this. There are prospects that look promising before an appointment but when it comes to asking for the sale, they give you objections, excuses, and stalls.
They might give you a reason they can’t sign up right now. Maybe they make up objections – some of them real, some not-so-much.
Either way, you get blocked, and prospects that once seemed red hot turn out to be ice cold.
Sometimes at the end of a sales meeting when you’re about to tell them your fees, prospects might come right out and say, “That’s a lot more than I expected!”
Other times, they push back on price and try to negotiate with lowball numbers.
They might even give you another excuse, but it’s obvious that price is the real issue. They act as if you’re charging an arm and a leg because they can’t see the real value you’re bringing.
Losing Out to Competition
Whether they bluntly say, “I’m interviewing other coaches,” or not, somebody else ends up getting the business.
Sometimes the competition is apathy – they choose not to do anything.
Sometimes the competition is another coach with a different value proposition.
Sometimes the competition is a coaching alternative. There’s completely different way they think they can get the outcome they want.
With any of these – Objections, Price Resistance, or Competition – you’re at the mercy of your prospects.
David Sandler from the Sandler Sales Institute once famously said, “If you don’t have a system for selling, you’ll always be at the mercy of your prospect’s system for buying.”
I want you to be in control, not at anyone’s mercy.
What Does Setting The Buying Criteria Do For You?
If you get this right – this strategy of setting the buying criteria – then instead of being stuck at the mercy of your prospects, something really cool happens.
Prospects will think “I would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone but you regardless of price.”
See the difference in positioning? There are no objections, you don’t get stalls or excuses.
They don’t balk at your prices. They pay the price and think, “Even if you were three times more expensive than the next guy, I would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone but you regardless of price.”
Instead of being held hostage by your prospect, you’re now in control.
Let me give you an example of this in practice.
If you don’t have a system for selling, you’ll always be at the mercy of your prospect’s system for buying. – David Sandler [Tweet This]
Warning! Don’t Hire A Business Coach Until You Read This!
A while back, Steve, an experienced coach I’d done a bunch of work with, rang me.
He said, “I’ve just had a really interesting situation that’s never happened to me before, and I thought you’d like to share it with your other clients. I had a sales appointment planned for later this week and when I rang them to confirm, they said, ‘We should let you know we’re actually interviewing 2 or 3 other coaches and so we’re not going to make a decision on the day. We’re going to interview you all on Friday, and on Monday we’ll let you know who we’ve chosen.’”
It was almost like a job interview. This sales process was completely reversed. They were interviewing a bunch of coaches and he would have to prove why he were the right one for the job.
Steve continued, “So, I did 2 things straight away. First, I asked if they’d already booked the other coaches. They hadn’t, so I said that I wanted them to book the others first and put me last.”
Why would Steve do that?
Why would you want to go last?
If you were in position 1, 2, or 3, you wouldn’t have a chance to close the deal because they said they would interview everybody first. If you go last, at least you’ve got a chance.
Secondly, people remember bookends – the first and last. The coaches in the middle… not so much.
Steve continued, “Then I told them, ‘I actually wrote a short report. It’s only five pages and it’ll help you make a really good decision about who to hire. I don’t know if you know this, but business coaching is an unregulated industry. There are a lot of sharks out there that call themselves coaches but aren’t really professionals. There’s a bunch of sneaky sales tricks and high pressure tactics they use, and not every coach is created equal.
“I don’t care whether you hire me, one of the others, or even someone you don’t interview Friday, but I want to send you copy of my guide to help you in your decision. It’s called Warning! Don’t Hire A Business Coach Until You Read This. It talks about the high pressure sales tactics they’ll use… and so on.”
Steve then reinforced that it didn’t matter who they chose, but they needed to affirm the 12 criteria he’d outlined in his report.
They were super grateful.
The day finally came. They’d already met with the other coaches when Steve walked in for his meeting.
When he walked in, he noticed his report sitting on their table.
They said, “Thank you so much for sending this to us. It really helped us in the other 3 interviews. We’ve asked a few tough questions that people didn’t have answers to and we’ve already decided that we’re not going to hire any of them.”
At that point, Steve knew he’d completely eliminated the competition.
What did he really do?
He set the buying criteria. His criteria said, “No matter who you choose, whether it’s me or anyone else, make sure they can add up to this. Here’s what to look for, here’s what to look out for.”
He set the criteria in such way that he was the only coach in the whole country who could answer yes the 12 criteria, just because he stacked the deck in his favor.
Over the next week, keep an eye out for more posts where we’ll dive into how to set the buying criteria to put you in control of selling process and convert more leads.